Prior to the crew’s departure from San Juan, they once again purchased more provisions for the ship, with a muttering from Louise “All this sailing around is damn expensive!” As their next port of call would be Port au Prince, they decided to call back at the island that had been christened Tregellan Island following the sinking of the Sea Cat. They wanted to meet up again with ol’ Jesse and let him know that the evil Baron Sanchez had been dealt with.
During an uneventful journey in which the only excitement was the sound of Rotgut endlessly carrying sets of keys to the Bosun, Anton located Tregellan Island with no difficulty, and they sailed into the cove where they first acquired the War Pig. Jesse was still there, and was overjoyed at the news that the crew brought him. All he wanted to do was return to England, and as a gesture of gratitude, he gave them the title deeds to a property in Jamaica just outside of Port Royale. All he asked for now was transport back to Port Royale so that he could make his way home, and the crew readily agreed.
Port Royale was only a few days away, and the crew and Jesse parted company. They decided to check out their new property, a nice two-storey town house with a large gated garden. It was clear that it had not been attended to in a while, but was nevertheless a good property. Initially they discussed the possibility of hiring a couple to look after the house in their absence, but then baulked at the monthly cost this would incur, and therefore decided to engage the services of a lawyer and sell the property, for a 10% fee. Leaving the house in the hands of the lawyer, they finally left for Port au Prince.
Another week’s travel saw them arrive at the French port. Bennett swapped their flag for a French one, and Anton donned his French Captain’s hat, and they sailed in without incident. Asking a dockworker about the House of Stolen Kisses, he indicated a large ornate building by the waterside. As Bennett was unsuccessful in finding a non-French speaking tavern, the whole crew headed to the Temple of Erzulie.
Whilst Manuel and Jiim discussed the merits of scouting the back doors, Tregellan, with uncanny recollection, remembered the note he was given by Tessa and knocked on the door. Presenting the note, the team were led through the sensually decorated corridors of the temple by scantily clad acolytes to the chambers of the Temple’s High Priestess, Dindreann. As Anton muttered a somewhat creepy “Hello!” under his breath, she greeted them and offered them refreshments of exotic fruit juices, and when they were comfortable on the plush cushions in her chambers, she asked what she could do for her dearest friend Tessa.
When asked about the Spanish spies, Dindreann explains that many secrets are shared in confidence within the temple, and she cannot simply part with them for free. However the crew may be able to do a service for her. One of the Temple’s ships, the Lady’s Sting, recently went missing. She believes that the ship was lured by a group of wreckers, and whilst piracy is a part of life in these parts, this vessel carried a sacred relic to the temple, a golden statue of a wasp. Dindreann wants the statue returned. Bennett and Manuel both realised that wreckers were not uncommon, and that finding a specific group would not be an easy task. Further questioning revealed that the ship went missing around Anguilla.
When asked about the Brine Banshee, Dindreann was much more forthcoming with information. She told the crew that a retired ship’s doctor named Haneilius Fitch in Nassau claims to have a means to locate the missing ship, and is looking for someone to bankroll his expedition to recover it. Dindreann also states that she knows nothing of Captain Mauser or the Red Knave.
Bennett decided to engage the services of a temple acolyte for a donation of 100 PoEs, whilst Anton arranges shore leave for the crew, including beer and a party with plenty of ladies of dubious moral character.
After discussing which lead to follow, they eventually voted for heading to Nassau, despite Jiim’s suspicions that the priestesses may have sabotaged their own ship. Once the crew had recovered and the ship was reprovisioned, they set sail north. A twelve day journey saw them reach Nassau without incident, and raising the English flag on the War Pig, they put into harbour. Nassau was a very run down, impoverished port. Once again rotating the crew for shore leave, with instructions not to cause too much trouble, the crew headed to a nearby tavern to try and locate the doctor. It didn’t take long for Anton to persuade the barkeep to part with the address of Fitch’s surgical office in town, and finishing their drinks they headed off.
As the crew entered the office, Fitch, a grey haired man with a very posh English accent, introduced himself and enquired how he could be of service. Anton, instead offered the services of himself and his crew, and once Jiim mentioned the Brine Banshee, again Anton didn’t take long to persuade the doctor that they could be trusted. Fitch went into a back room and reemerged with a glass tube containing a human leg bone in preserving liquid.
“This tibia previously belonged to Vargus Brack, one of my old shipmates. Vargus was grateful to be rid of it – he’d have died of gangrene if I hadn’t amputated his leg. It’s a good thing I kept it as a specimen, since he was an officer on board the Brine Banshee when she last sailed. Vargus and I were good friends – he came to visit me the last time the Banshee was in Nassau. He mentioned in passing the course the Banshee would be taking. The Banshee had an abundance of riches aboard her, and together I believe we can salvage them. Are you interested?”
Fitch wanted half of all treasure that they recover from the ship in order to provide the means of locating it. The crew discussed it amongst themselves and Louise was keen in accepting the deal, and quickly convinced the rest of the crew. The deal was struck. Fitch went on to explain that whilst he knows the course of the ship, he doesn’t know its exact location. There is a ring, enchanted by voodoo magics, that can be used to track a corpse, provided the wearer already has a piece of the body – hence the leg bone of Vargus Brack. If the crew can obtain such a ring, they would be able to sail together to locate the Banshee. Fitch also knows the whereabouts of such a ring. A local pirate captain, named “Milksop” Morton, wears one. That’s where the crew and their ship come in. If they are strong enough to take it from him, they would be in business. Morton sails in the Footman’s Grave and is due in Nassau within the next week.
Back at the War Pig, Fishguts told the crew what he knew about the pirate. He was an independent, seeking to make quick profits from other independent unaligned pirate crews. With Fitch on board, they made quick preparations and set sail to intercept. No more than a day out of port, they sighted a sail on the horizon.
Anton spied through the Farglass that whilst the ship was hostile, it had raised its flag for parlay, and was approaching. The War Pig also approached cautiously and when they were in hailing range Morton called out to the crew to enquire where they were headed. Although Anton lied ‘Anguilla’, the War Pig was still approaching slowly, and when Morton called for them to stop and they did not comply, the conversation was cut short as the Footman’s Grave turned to port and brought her guns to bear, one shot hitting the War Pig but failing to penetrate her armour. This called for Anton to cry out an insult “Milksop? More like Milk Maid!” to which Louise took offence at the suggestion that being a woman somehow implied weakness.
Tregellan raked the Footman’s Grave with chain shot from one of her 8-pounders, taking out some of her sails and reducing her speed. Bennett skilfully guided the War Pig through a tight turn at speed, and Anton hit again, this time taking out a cannon and a mast. With the Grave reduced to a crawl, Bennett maneuvered the Pig behind the stern of the Grave and crossed her T, allowing all the guns to be brought to bear. This time crewman Leech struck the telling shot, taking out the Grave’s final mast and leaving her immobile in the water. Calls to the Grave to surrender went unanswered, so Tregellan changed tack and called to the crew to turn over their captain if they wanted to live. This worked, and Morton was attacked by his own crew, which allowed the War Pig to pull alongside and board the stricken vessel with ease.
Morton managed to take down two of his now-former crewmates when Bennett boldly stepped forward, pushing the crew aside, to take on the captain single handedly. This foolhardiness prompted Louise to apologise to Fitch. Morton was concealing a fistful of gunpowder, which he threw in Bennettt’s face as he attacked, and followed it up with a thrust from his rapier, but Bennett managed to shrug it off. Anton grabbed a still-smouldering fuse cord and cheered along with the crew, whist the rest now joined in the fight. Bennett, calling on Neptune, struck a good blow but again failed to damage the pirate captain. Louise also hit, but Manuel missed with his throwing daggers, unused to the movement of the ship’s deck beneath him.
Seeing that he is now completely outnumbered, Morton surrendered. Bennett demanded all his rings so that Fitch could identify the correct one. As Bennett is about to place the captain in a launch and set him adrift, Fishguts whispered in his ear that Morton had a bounty on his head, which caused an instant change of mind. Anton suggested putting him in a barrel, whilst Jiim, somewhat more darkly, suggested killing him and checking whether the ring worked by seeing when his corpse arrived with the Spaniards. Discussions around pickling him, or selling him in Nassau also take place, but nonetheless they decide to keep him alive and on board, for now.
Anton struck a deal with Gratton, who was seemingly the most senior of the Footman’s Grave crew. They could live and sail under Tregellan’s banner. The War Pig would tow them back to Nassau for repairs, and beyond that for a tithe of 40% of their takings, they could raid in this area. As the alternative seemed to be certain death, this sounded like a good deal.
With the ring now in their possession and worn by Anton, they set sail northeast towards the fringes of the ‘Eye’, a powerful hurricane, which was the Banshee’s last course. As they approached, the ring started vibrating on Anton’s finger, and it didn’t take long to pinpoint the location where the vibrations were strongest – an area of open water. Going over the side wearing their deep platinum necklaces (although Manuel was sceptical at first), they see that the ocean is only sixty feet deep here. They can clearly see the bow section of a ship, lying on its side at a slight angle on the sea floor. It was lying next to a rift, and it appears clear that the vessel split in two when she sank and the stern section has dropped into the rift. The vibrations from the ring pointed to the fact that Vargus’ corpse was in the rift somewhere. Louise suggested that they move the War Pig away and leave a lifeboat anchored – as whatever caused the Banshee to split in two could still be around.
Not seeing anything on interest on the deck of the ship, they swam towards the broken hull to investigate the interior of the bow section. A group of four hammerhead sharks swam out of the hull to greet them, the scent of fresh meat spurring them on. Louise and Anton were at the front of the group, and instantly dispatched two of them as they approached to within striking distance. A third one badly mauled Louise, whilst the fourth stunned Anton. Jiim followed in and tried to help Louise by pushing her out of the sharks’ reach, but as he did so the giant fish took another enormous bite out of her, which sadly proved fatal. Not even Bennett could come to her aid this time. RIP Louise Brempton. Jiim finished off that shark, and Bennett moved in and slew the last one.
Mourning the loss of their crewmate (and sharing out her stuff), the crew decided to keep on investigating the wreck, whilst weighing down Louise’s body so that they could recover it later.